Customer Reviews for

Scent of Lilacs: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
( 60 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A well written Christian historical family drama

    In 1964 Hollyhill, Kentucky, the owner of the Hollyhill Barrier David Brooke knows why he can only be an interim pastor at the Mt. Pleasant Church because the congregation expects its leader married. Thus David works the newspaper to feed his extended family and the church out of love. Seven years ago, David¿s wife Adrienne left without a look back taking their older daughter then thirteen years old Tabitha with her. She left behind their other child then six years old Jocie. David¿s septuagenarian Aunt Love lives with them, but he feels more like a referee between his two female relatives than their kin............................. Jocie wants to know about her family to what made Aunt Love into a preaching stoic spinster who is turning senile except for her biblical citations and why her mother left especially without her. She would also like to see her older sister who turn twenty shortly. As Jocie investigates her recent roots, secrets some would prefer left hidden begin to surface; she learns more about her aunt, her parents, and even the newspaper pressman..................... THE SCENT OF LILACS is a well written Christian historical family drama that sub-genre will deeply cherish. Jocie is a great inquisitive young teen struggling to understand the dynamics that engulf her in a shroud. The totally in black Aunt love will surprise readers when they learn alongside Jocie about her past. Finally, David is split apart as suffers guilt over his broken marriage and loss of a child and finding solace tending to his flock so that secularly he feels broken while spiritually connected. Ann. H. Gilbert provides an inspirational family drama................ Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2013

    Lovely cover, even better story! This is one of those books I a

    Lovely cover, even better story!

    This is one of those books I actually wanted to read just because I liked the cover so well. Of course it didn't hurt that it was written by Ann Gabhart, I have read and enjoyed several of her Shaker novels. Based on the cover I thought I was going to get a Young Adult coming-of-age type story with a little mystery, all set in a Mayberryesque town. I was very pleasantly surprised to find so much more than that.

    This story is primarily from Jocie's viewpoint, though her father, David is a close second. While not in the first person we get to see glimpses into the heads of several characters, Tabitha, Aunt Love etc. I normally find skipping viewpoints a bit of a pain in the neck to read but I didn't with this book, in fact I liked it much better that way, the author switched viewpoints very cleanly and nicely. Each of these characters has a story to tell and secrets to keep.

    I really liked Jocie and David, they were real people with real problems. I found myself wanting to drop in on an evening to say hello and talk about the latest issue of The Banner. I enjoyed the way that Ann Gabhart manages to span the generations, accurately portraying the thoughts and feelings of each.

    This book was quite a switch from the norm in fiction. Often the father is a stumbling block, the characters equate their flawed father with the Heavenly Father, thus having an even more difficult time coming to Him. This couldn't be any different from Scent Of Lilacs, David's love for Jocie and even long lost Tabitha, despite betrayal, rumors, secrets, and revelations, is beautiful. He emulates the true love of our Heavenly Father.
    There were also some very poignant thoughts on prayer, everything from Jocie's childlike belief that God will answer her Sister-Prayer and Dog-Prayer, to David's inner thoughts on how we treat prayer and miracles in our own lives. This really made me think about my own prayer life, how I can, and should believe that God really can do the things He did in Bible times. Can and even still does.

    Well-written in every way, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a sweet story with a little mystery and some surprises.


    Note: While this looks like it could be a kids books, it really isn't. Due to some of the topics and language (it is used in the proper context) I would suggest this book for ages 16+, depending on the young person.

    (I received this book from the Publisher through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.)

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2013

    review I have so enjoyed this book, I love the character of Jo


    review I have so enjoyed this book, I love the character of Jocie- she makes me smile, laugh, and cry at times! In 1964,I was 13yrs.old,also, so I could relate to some of the history in the country in the story at that time. I love the characters of Aunt Love, she always had a scripture quote for everything! I cried with her at the cave, when they found the baby skull! All the characters were so real, I feel like I know them quite well,now-not to mention Joice's dad-David, and Wes-he's a character, and Zella! Those characters,including Jocie really impressed me. And..I just loved Zeb-well,I am a dog lover. Ann really describes a dog like Zeb so well,I could picture him so vividly-I was smiling the whole time, that I read about him in the story! I am just so glad the story continues into book 2, and I am ready to get started on it!
    Thank you, Ann..for a wonderful story, and wonderful characters!(less)

    comment · see review

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    This was a very delightful book. It centers around 13 yr. old Jo

    This was a very delightful book. It centers around 13 yr. old Jocie who lives in a small town. I thought this book was going to be just an "everyday living" kind of book but it ended up having some suspense in it. There are secrets within Jocie's family that I never saw coming. I like when books have a little twist to them. This is my first book by this author and I look forward to reading more books by this author. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    How do you sense the touch of God? For Josie, it was the "S

    How do you sense the touch of God?
    For Josie, it was the "Scent of Lilacs". For David, her father, it was the scent of locust blossoms. This was a beautiful coming of age story told from the point of view of Jocie Brooke and her father David. Jocie is a lively, thirteen-year-old being raised by a single father. David's wife left him, never wanting to be a preacher's wife nor wanting to live in their small town. He had been her ticket out of town, but he felt the Lord calling him to stay and pastor. Being divorced by his wife caused problems with churches wanting to call him as their pastor.
    The town of Hollyhill is filled with interesting characters such as Aunt Love, Wes, Zella. David desperately wants to pastor a church and finally one gives him a chance.
    Jocie's faith is precious as she prays the "dog prayer" and the "sister prayer" and sees those prayers answered. Her fledgling faith is put to the test as secrets are revealed.
    This is a reprint of a 2005 novel. If you fell in love with the Brooks family and their struggles to live out their faith you will be happy to know that there are two sequels. They are not yet in reprint, with the lovely new cover, but are available nevertheless.
    As a leader of our book club at church, this will make an excellent choice being not only entertaining, but also with much to discuss.
    I have read all of Ann Gabhart's Shaker series and Words Spoken True. They are all well written and well researched.
    I received this book from the publisher via book bookfun

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    One you can't put down! Loved the depth of the characters, the s

    One you can't put down! Loved the depth of the characters, the story just pulled me in. Unexpected twists and turns, really sweet read. Review by CherishD

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2013

    Scent of Lilacs, by Ann H. Gabhart was an overhelming, touching

    Scent of Lilacs, by Ann H. Gabhart was an overhelming, touching story about a young girl named Jocie. The story takes place in 1964, in an small town in Hollyhill, Kentucky. True-to-life struggles, family past, and many other discoveries that changes the life of Jocie. This book talks about forgiveness, trusting, and accepting of life situations. How trusting in God will bring you forward into a life of many surprises. I totally recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2013

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Scent of Lilacs by Ann H. Gabhart, ©20

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013
    Scent of Lilacs by Ann H. Gabhart, ©2013

    "Scent of Lilacs was my first book published in the Christian market. The story set in my fictional little town of Hollyhill was picked as one of Booklist's Top Ten Christian Novels that year, but then the story went out of print. Well, now it's back with a brand new cover as Jocie and all the eccentric characters of Hollyhill are ready to hit the shelves again in March 2013 with a heart-tugging Small Town, America story that might make you smile or have you wiping away a tear. Booklist's reviewer said..."real drama emerges as Jocie explores her family's secrets in this universal tale of growing up."
    --Author Ann H. Gabhart

    After the summer of 1964, life for Jocie Brooke will never be the same. Combining unforgettable characters, true-to-life struggles, and the perfect dose of humor and nostalgia, this riveting story explores the very essence of new life and love.

    My Review:
    Jocie is delightful and a fine friend. Feisty, exploratory, exempt from shyness, she becomes a Nancy Drew sleuth for her modern day. Do you find your name in her journaling?

    I was not aware of Jocie's story's first release. I am glad she is back!

    This is a story for any generation. Jocie is any little girl ~ well, maybe not all ~ but she is me! My mother died when I was five, a month before my sixth birthday. A girl from a farming community came and stayed with us during my first and second year of school when she was a junior and senior in high school. I had those clip on skates that I would rollerskate all over town. The parts of the sidewalks that weren't yet, that were sand, kind of clogged up my wheels. I kept going to the hardware store to have the man fix my skates because the screw on the bottom kept coming apart because my foot kept getting bigger! I knew which grandma baked pies. She was our little town's postmaster with curly white hair and twinkly blue eyes. Her granddaughter Susie visited from Milwaukee. She was a clean little girl. I always had grass-stains on my pant knees. So, as you can see I was ready for Jocie and her adventures. I had been on some of them too.

    Jocie's daddy owns the newspaper in Hollyhill. She helps out a lot there. It is summertime. Jocie's mom and older sister leave in the night when Jocie is six. Now she is thirteen and they come home from evening church to find her sister Tabitha waiting on the front porch. She is here to stay from California. Kentucky is a long way off and she has taken buses to get here. Their Aunt Love keeps the home front together as much as she can remember. She walks off and leaves things browning on the stove sometimes. Their daddy, David Brooke, is an interim pastor, that is until he would accept their offer of full-time. You will love the characters you will meet in Hollyhill, Kentucky. This is a story to read and re-read. A story of any time, any place. A story of caring and love for one another. Lazy days of summer reveal a lot if you look for truth and find it in the right places.

    The eternal God is thy refuge,
    and underneath are the everlasting arms:
    and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee;
    and shall say, Destroy them.
    --Deuteronomy 33:27

    Truth always prevails.

    Thank you to Revell Blog Tour Network Historical Fiction for inviting me to be part of the blog tour for Ann Gabhart's Scent of Lilacs. I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for my review in my own words.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    Enjoyed

    Well written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    Five stars says it all

    Fantastic book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    Great book

    Enjoyed reading Loved all the characters Sweet story well wtitten

    Really enjoyed loved all the charactors could not put book down













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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    Great Book

    This is the first book I have read by Ann Gabhart but it will not be the last. After reading this I had to find the others in this series. They did not disappoint me either. Great Christian fiction.

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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    Life in Hollyhill! I have read several books by author Ann H.


    Life in Hollyhill!

    I have read several books by author Ann H. Gabhart and have enjoyed them all.  
    Scent of Lilacs is a book you will enjoy once you get into it.  The beginning was a
    little slow for me.

    I fell in love with Hollyhill because it reminds me so much of the small town I grew
    up in.  Everybody knew everyone’s name and everyone knew everybody’s
    business!

    Jocie captured my heart from the start .  A young innocent girl who struggles to
    find out who she is.  Her father, preacher David, tries so hard to please everyone.  
    He is definitely a person after God’s own heart.  Just wait until you meet Wes;
    A strange man?  Perhaps in his own way he is but I could not help but grow fond
    of him too.  Loved his stories!

    There are life struggles, hurts, and spiteful mean spirited characters that are vital
    to this story.  Take heart, there is also love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and hope.

    I urge you to pick up a copy of Scent of Lilacs.  I think some of you will relate to
    small town living as much as I did.  

    I am looking forward to reading book two, Orchard of Hope.

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  • Posted June 1, 2014

    I love this book

    I havent finished reading it yet but what I have read of it is fantastic

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    I LOVE THIS BOOK!

    This author is very talented. Even if the story was boring the way it is told is amazing. The style of writing flows from one paragraph to the next. She hold your interest by bringing in something fresh, and exciting. Good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2014

    Excellant

    Great read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    The voice of God

    Joycelyn, a tweenager growing up in the 60s, with a faith that could move a mountain...or calm a storm....or save a friend...or herself...or her cobbled together family... struggles with the things teens deal with, PLUS gossip, seeking acceptance in her smalltown where everyone knows everyone else and their business. A sweet read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Good book.

    I loved the story, but I felt as if it was left with questions hanging. I would have liked at least an epilogue.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    Great coming of age Christian Literature

    The setting for this book is the early 1960s, a time when kids explored the world from their bicycles and Sunday dinners with the pastor as a guest were the norm for a lot of churchgoers. Ms. Gabhart delivered a truly lovable array of characters in this novel. There is the young 14 year old girl that is the main character to the crotchety old deacon that just doesn't seem to realize that there is anything to be happy about. And those two aren't even the most colorful characters. I enjoyed this book and intend on reading the next two in the series.
    If preachy puts you off, you may want to leave this one out of your library, but if you can appreciate the Gospel put to you in the thoughts of a young girl with a lot on her mind,this would be the book for you.

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  • Posted May 23, 2014

    Wonderfully sweet read.

    This book, written from the teenaged daughter's perspective is a story of change, belonging, and forgiveness.Th e narrator's voice is believable, and humorous in the midst of loss. Each character has pleasant quirks making them authentic. It was a nice, light read. I enjoyed it very much.

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